A fundraising appeal has been launched to restore passenger services on the westernmost section of the Wensleydale Railway to Redmire.
Although the heritage railway leases a 22-mile route between Redmire and Northallerton West, it has been more than three years since the last train ran any further west than Leyburn. This is due to the deteriorating condition of track and infrastructure on this 5½-mile section of the line, much of which dates to before the First World War.
According to the Wensleydale Railway, this part of the railway is predominantly constructed on ash ballast, wooden sleepers, and 90lb ‘North Eastern Rail’, and is now heavily worn. There is also a considerable amount of vegetation to be removed, re-ballasting to be done, and drainage renewed.
In addition, major infrastructure work is required to build a second platform and to replace the footbridge at Leyburn, while also resignalling the area.
The total cost of the upgrade is estimated to be over £1 million.
The appeal is aimed at ‘pump priming’ the project and to provide crucial support for larger grant funding applications.
Donations can be made online at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/returntoredmire